More San Francisco nonsense: “Needle-exchange” program not working out as planned

Posted by: ST on August 28, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Cross-posted at Jules Crittenden’s blog.

Last night, I blogged about San Francisco’s “black flight” problem, and how “city leaders” were trying to come up with ways to bring back the “character” black people bring to San Francisco, you know, the black people they pushed out with their high-cost liberalism in the first place.

Inspired by that story, a tipster emailed today to alert me as to recent developments going on with San Francisco’s “needle-exchange” program, one that city planners put into place about 15 years ago in an effort to combat the spread of AIDS and other diseases that can be caught as a result of the reusing/sharing of old needles by junkies. Back in late July, Brit Hume noted via a San Francisco Chronicle report where Parks Department workers said they were finding around 200 used needles per day discarded in Golden Gate Park. Here’s more backstory, via an August 3rd SF Chronicle piece:

City officials and nonprofit agency leaders, responding to an outcry over used syringes littering parks, say they are looking at ways to reform San Francisco’s needle-exchange program – including locked, 24-hour syringe drop boxes and technologically advanced syringes.

The city’s needle-exchange program gives out 2.4 million needles a year and receives 65 to 70 percent of them back after they’re used. Other cities – including Portland, Seattle and jurisdictions throughout New Mexico – have return rates of well over 90 percent.

In San Francisco, The Chronicle reported recently, many unreturned needles wind up in parks, playgrounds and other outdoor expanses.

“We can recover a lot more needles,” said Mark Cloutier, executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which runs most of the city’s needle-exchange sites. “We understand it’s a public health problem, and we’re excited about the attention that’s happening.”

Cloutier said a locked, 24-hour biohazard drop box will be installed on Sixth Street within the next six weeks. It will be available for anonymous needle drop-off any time, sort of like drop boxes for library books or rented movies. The AIDS Foundation likely will test it for six months but expects to open others around the city.

“We’re not going to put it in the middle of Union Square,” he said. “It’s where people can experience some anonymity.”

Yes, I mean, we wouldn’t want the public to go through the awful experience of actually having to see a user injecting him or herself with a publicly funded needle, would we?

More:

Public health officials also will meet soon with manufacturers of retractable syringes – in which the needle fully retracts into the syringe’s barrel after one injection. These are considered much safer than the syringes commonly used and would prevent children or others who pick up dropped syringes from infecting themselves.

Oh gosh! Thank goodness! The translation for that is: “Though we’ve given up on the city’s drug users, we want to make sure our parks stay safe for the cheeeeldren.” Of course that doesn’t take into account the fact that a child touching the syringe barrel in and of itself can be a health hazard, considering that drug users who commence in their habits in public parks aren’t likely to have much concern as to whether or not a little blood drips onto the hand they’ve used to hold the needle in the first place, or anything.

Continuing:

Other options are on the table, too.

Tracey Packer, interim director of the health department’s HIV Prevention Program, said officials are looking at providing homeless outreach workers with biohazard boxes to carry with them, giving users of the needle-exchange programs small biohazard packs that can carry 10 used needles at a time and better educating users about needle safety.

Great point. Because usually a drug user’s number one priority is safety when shooting up. They just need a little ‘reminding’ every once in a while.

Still more:

The San Francisco needle-exchange program was begun in 1992 under Mayor Frank Jordan. The Public Health Department contracts with the AIDS Foundation, the Homeless Youth Alliance and Tenderloin Health to run the exchanges at a total of $850,000 a year.

But, as reported recently by The Chronicle, not everyone is returning the needles, and parents are sharing horror stories about their children finding needles in parks and playgrounds.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty said Thursday he successfully advocated for the closure of a play area at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center because children were finding needles in the sand.

“I have a child, and I want my child to be able to play in the sand, but I no longer felt comfortable having a playground feature be dangerous like that,” he said. “I’m open to ideas.”

How about that? A play area for children had to be closed because drug users weren’t responsible enough to properly dispose of their needles. Got that? The children have suffered. Where’s the outrage?!

Mayor Gavin Newsom last week asked Katz to come up with ways to make needle disposal easier and safer. The issue is politically tricky because disease prevention and social services are important to San Franciscans, but so are public safety and clean parks and playgrounds.

“This is a difficult situation, but we can’t end our needle-exchange program,” said Newsom’s press secretary, Nathan Ballard. “It saves lives.”

That’s a ‘progressive’ approach, eh? Giving needles to junkies ‘saves lives.’ Maybe not theirs, but somebody’s, anyway (I guess).

In an update to this developing problem in San Francisco (yet another one they created, by the way), there are growing calls for an “injection center” in hopes that the same drug users who aren’t responsible enough to properly dispose of their needle after use will use to both inject and dispose:

A month after we chronicled “the march of the junkies” at the needle exchange center near Golden Gate Park, longtime neighbors say things have improved. Residents who live near the center on Haight said it was the source of used syringes being discarded in the park and in their yards by drug users.

“It has lightened up, I have to admit,” says Les Silverman, who has lived a block from the Panhandle on Cole Street since 1975 and told us he’d found needles in his front yard garden. “It’s a little better.”

Park gardeners (who have been told not to talk to the media) say they are coming across fewer needles, and our recent morning trip to the park did not find nearly as many syringes as a month earlier.

That’s great. But insiders say it doesn’t have anything to do with serious reform in the way needles are distributed to intravenous drug users, something the city has been facilitating since 1992 to curb the spread of disease.

“As much as I’d like to claim credit,” says Peter Davidson, chairman of the board of the Homeless Youth Alliance, which runs the Haight needle exchange, “I think it is because of the police doing these sweeps and moving people out.”

Again, that’s terrific, but how long will the sweeps last? (A police source tells us that four officers and a sergeant are being pulled off the street for two hours every morning.)

Awesome, eh? In addition to all their other responsiblities, the five officers from the SF police force have to spend two hours every day telling drug users to shove off of public park property, which sounds suspiciously like a violation of a 2006 9th Circus Court ruling, which stated, in essence, that homeless people had a ‘constitutional right’ to loiter and sleep on public property. Where’s the love?

If we’re really serious about a long-term solution for discarded needles littering our parks, it may be time for a bold, new initiative – a city-sponsored injection center where drug users could go, receive a clean needle, and inject themselves in a sanitary environment.

Sounds shocking, doesn’t it?

Dr. Thomas Kerr, an HIV/AIDS researcher at the University of British Columbia, who has studied an injection facility in Vancouver – the only one in North America – understands the reaction.

“When the average person first hears about it,” says Kerr, who has studied the Vancouver facility for four years, “They say, ‘Oh my God, this is going to make drug use go crazy.’ People think it enables drug use.”

But the concept of a needle exchange faced the same kind of opposition 20 years ago. Other countries, including Switzerland, Germany and Canada, have used the injection facility concept successfully, but it has not been tried in the United States.

Davidson says he was at a conference recently when a Swiss researcher was asked about the program.

“It is not because the Swiss are nice to junkies,” the researcher said, according to Davidson. “It is because injecting is a public nuisance, and we wanted to get them off the street.”

Kerr puts it this way: “If you don’t like seeing addicts injecting in public places, if you are concerned about finding discarded needles, if you have a problem with public order, the injection facility does make sense.”

Right. Again, because we don’t want the public to actually see what they’re paying $850,000 a year for. For that matter, the public themselves probably don’t want to see it either, and take the attitude of “go ahead and do it, I just don’t wanna see it.” For “safety” reasons, they’re ok with it happening, but it’s not exactly the kind of local “character” they want in their public parks, it would appear.

There’s certainly a need for something. Davidson says it is no wonder we found discarded needles when we toured Golden Gate Park in July. He says there are an estimated 15,000 “injecting users” in San Francisco, many of whom inject drugs as many as 10 times a day.

“You’re talking about millions of ‘injectable events,’ ” Davidson says.

Wow.

“Users are very concerned and fear arrest by SFPD, and this may be motivation for discarding syringes in haste,” said a recent report on the topic by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health.

That’s two good reasons why users are more likely to toss a needle in the bushes, rather than dispose of it safely

Great. Then that injection center will ‘solve’ three problems for drug users: 1) being caught by the cops, 2) having a place to dispose of their drug needles, and 3) it’ll give ‘em a place to hang out and mingle with other users. Sort of like a ‘networking’ type atmosphere for druggies. And the city gets to hide its drug-using contingent from public view. Out of sight, out of mind. Sweet.

An understatement, to be sure. Residents and neighbors to Golden Gate Park are understandably shocked to find used needles during their daily walks. The public health department has gotten that message.

Why would they be “shocked”? Are they actually that clueless to believe that a program that essentially encourages street drug users to keep on doing it is going to inspire those same users to dispose properly of the needles they’re getting ‘free’ of charge? Yeah, I already know the answer to that one.

It also is safe to say that the city is keeping closer tabs on local needle exchange facilities and how they’re working. Although all 17 of the facilities are technically independent, a large part of their funding ($275,000 in the case of the Haight exchange) comes from the city.

“The great thing about this,” Davidson says, “is that we have really had it shoved in our faces how we affect the community. We all have a real interest in getting along with the neighbors. If there are needles in the park, it is bad for everyone.”

Awww. Translation: “We created the problem in the first place, and it’s really cool that we’re all coming together to try and clean up our own mess. Group hug, everyone!”

I’d say rather than funding the habits of repeat offender drug users by offering them “free” needles to inject themselves with, what SF needs is a heavy duty injection of common sense. Unfortunately, I’m afraid there’s not a syringe big enough in the world to inject the amount needed to bring back any significant measure of logic and reason to this bastion of liberal incompetency and ineffectualness.

This story is a stark example of why liberalism breeds failure (in spite of what the lefty elites on college campuses try to tell you). It doesn’t encourage the best in anyone; instead, it encourages people to believe that certain types of problematic behavior shouldn’t be changed, and that we should just “accept” it. It should be “tolerated” because “they’re going to do it anyway.” In instances like this one, we see where instead of trying to win the battle against drugs in SF, liberals in SF encourage it by offering “free” needles – and perhaps in the future, a city-funded “injection center.”

We also see it in sex education programs offered to teens and pre-teens alike in our public schools. “Progressives” give up by saying that “kids are going to ‘do it’ anyway, so we might as well show ‘em how to do it ‘safely.'” Same same regarding drinking. Young teens are “not” going to stop drinking, so we need to run ads telling them that if they drink during prom season, please don’t drive. In some places, there is actually a ‘debate’ going on about whether or not parents holding “teen drinking parties” is a good idea. In academia, in the workplace, and in the military, among other places, standards are lowered, not raised, so that the goal becomes less about genuine individual achievement and fulfilment and more about making those who are less inclined to go the distance when the standards are set high ‘feel good’ about themselves for ‘trying.’

Modern-day liberalism is not about bringing out the best in anyone, contrary to popular belief. At its best, it encourages mediocrity and “sameness” because it’s “unfair” that there are some who are just clearly better at certain things than others. At its worst, it inhibits and attempts to replace the instinctual human desire to ‘be all you can be’ with a perverse, fatalistic attitude of hopelessness that implies that as humans, we can’t help it that we’re fallible, there’s nothing we can do to change it, so we should just accept it without judgement and move on.

Today’s liberals like to call this type of feel-good liberalism as “progressive” in nature. Well, sure it is. Only if you enjoy seeing things get progressively worse, which is exactly the opposite of what “progress” is supposed to mean, according to dictionary.com’s top five definitions for the word:

1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage: the progress of a student toward a degree.
2. developmental activity in science, technology, etc., esp. with reference to the commercial opportunities created thereby or to the promotion of the material well-being of the public through the goods, techniques, or facilities created.
3. advancement in general.
4. growth or development; continuous improvement: He shows progress in his muscular coordination.
5. the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level.

Needle-exchange programs, explicit sex ed curriculums in some elementary, and many junior and senior high schools, drunk driving ads around prom time, are all indications of “progressive” thinking? I don’t think so.

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35 Responses to “More San Francisco nonsense: “Needle-exchange” program not working out as planned”

Comments

  1. steveegg says:

    Cloutier said a locked, 24-hour biohazard drop box will be installed on Sixth Street within the next six weeks. It will be available for anonymous needle drop-off any time, sort of like drop boxes for library books or rented movies. The AIDS Foundation likely will test it for six months but expects to open others around the city.

    Bold prediction; the lock will be off the drop box inside of 6 weeks.

    As for the lieberals’ usurpation of “progress”, “progressively worse” is exactly the right definition.

  2. Tom TB says:

    This is so funny in a perverse way; a drug addict is someone who lives from fix to fix, and the idea that they could act in a environmentally-friendly fashion is insane. They inject unknown substances into their own veins, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce thinks they would keep the public parks tidy?

  3. tommy in nyc says:

    ST the first thing I want to ask you is why do you refer to people suffering from heroin addiction as junkies? Do you believe in American Medical Assoction’s opinion that chemical dependance is a disease and if you do why are you refering to people with an illness in a derogatory way? Just asking? Don’t you think trying to prevent a potential endemic health problem will be resolved by slandering the people who suffer from it or should the government be trying to minimize AIDS and Hepatitis by providing free needles?

  4. TedintheShed says:

    ST the first thing I want to ask you is why do you refer to people suffering from heroin addiction as junkies?

    I can’t speak for ST, but perhaps she refers to them as “junkies” because that is athe proper term.

    Per dictionary.com (bold added for emphasis):

    1. a drug addict, esp. one addicted to heroin.

  5. Exactly, Ted :)

    Tommy, do you know what “slander” means? Here, I’ll help:

    a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report

    Calling a druggie a druggie or junkie isn’t “slander.”

    And knowing what it’s like to deal with substance abuse on a personal level, would you say that publicly funded weed given to you would have helped you kick your habit?

  6. TedintheShed says:

    5.

    I have a question:

    Why do you have to state the obvious in precise, laser-like terminology to people?

    It seems this was the case for you with both “tommy in nyc” and Glenn Greenwald.

  7. All I can do is try, Ted, and hope that something I say eventually sticks in their brains ;)

  8. tommy in nyc says:

    Hold up a minute ST. First off giving clean needles to heroin addicts is done to prevent the transmission of AIDS and other viral diseases. If a sick person is unwilling to try to get clean(I’ve known too many individuals myself included for a long time and no I’ve never done heroin) or simply just never live long enough to get clean. Refering to a human being as a “junkie” is not a compliment we agree on that correct. A human being who suffers from chemical addiction trying to stay clean doesn’t need the stigmatizion or being described in a way that the majority of folks that I know would look upon in a negative way. Also weed ain’t physically addictive heroin is. Do you considder individuals who suffer from chemical dependence as people who suffer from a disease or not?

  9. Hold up a minute ST. First off giving clean needles to heroin addicts is done to prevent the transmission of AIDS and other viral diseases.

    But what else does it to, tommy? Would getting freebies help you to get off of your (former) drug habit?

    A human being who suffers from chemical addiction trying to stay clean doesn’t need the stigmatizion or being described in a way that the majority of folks that I know would look upon in a negative way.

    tommy, if you’re looking for political correctness, you’ve come to the wrong blog.

    Also weed ain’t physically addictive heroin is.

    If weed isn’t addictive, why did you seek treatment for it?

    Do you considder individuals who suffer from chemical dependence as people who suffer from a disease or not?

    No, it’s called an “addiction.”

  10. Lorica says:

    All I can do is try, Ted, and hope that something I say eventually sticks in their brains

    Good Luck with That Dear!!

    I would also like to stand in agreement with Tom TB. What sorta Numbskull would believe that junkies who don’t care about what they are killing themselves with, would give 2 cents about the park they are shooting themselves up in. Also, once they do shoot themselves up, does anyone here think they are going to race right on over the the needle drop box and deposit their used needle?? If you do, I have some land I would like to sell you.

    Lastly, if I were a resident of San Francisco, I would be so happy that My City was known for it’s ability to collect heroin needles. Ya gotta wonder just how many tourism dollars that is going to net us!!! I am not a big fan of any extremely large city, NY, Chi Town, SF or LA, /shiver you can have them all, but to me this is about the stupidest move a person can make. What next if you are a junkie, you don’t get prosecuted for the crimes you make?? You can rob just any tourist, and we won’t care!!! YAY San Francisco!!! /Sarcasm Off – Lorica

  11. TedintheShed says:

    First off giving clean needles to heroin addicts is done to prevent the transmission of AIDS and other viral diseases.

    Unfortunately, the side effect is that it promotes the drug habit. It does nothing to encourage the real solution- which is individual accountability (accepting reponsibilty for one’s own actions).

    That is not an acceptable trade off.

    Refering to a human being as a “junkie” is not a compliment we agree on that correct.

    Why is it requisite to compliment them?

    A human being who suffers from chemical addiction trying to stay clean doesn’t need the stigmatizion or being described in a way that the majority of folks that I know would look upon in a negative way.

    Well, it certainly isn’t a stigmatization that should be looked at in a positive way. In any case, it is brought on by one’s own choices.

    If I rob a house, I am a theif. I carry said label along with the associated stigmatization. I should not be refered to as “an independently operating unauthorized property relocation specialist” just to avoid said stigmatization.

    Do you considder individuals who suffer from chemical dependence as people who suffer from a disease or not?

    No- disease is not brought upon by choice.

  12. tommy in nyc says:

    Well it is saddening that as into the 21st century that folks do not realize that using drugs like heroin as people who suffer from an illness. It’s a disease. Not a human weakness.

  13. No, what’s “saddening,” tommy, is the fact that doctors and other ‘experts’ have chosen to classify certain addictions as a disease, because classifying them as a disease makes the action seem ‘involuntary’ as if the person had no control over their choices and actions. This goes right back to a problem I’ve written about before. Instead of putting personal responsiblity on the individual, classifying an addiction as a disease (aka not a ‘human weakness’ as you describe it) you’ve basically told the person “hey, it’s not your fault you became addicted to XYZ” — even though it was your CHOICE to take/drink/smoke it.

    I used to have an addiction to caffiene. I guess that means I had a ‘disease’ too, eh?

  14. BTW, tommy, you haven’t answered any of my questions. Why? :-\

  15. TedintheShed says:

    Well it is saddening that as into the 21st century that folks do not realize that using drugs like heroin as people who suffer from an illness. It’s a disease. Not a human weakness.

    It is neither. It is a choice made by an individual, and the consequence of said choice can be addiction as well as the effects of said addiction.

    Bad choices are not a disease, nor is it a human weakness.

  16. NC Cop says:

    Bad choices are not a disease, nor is it a human weakness.

    I couldn’t have said it any better, Ted. Bad choices are responsible for about 90% of the crime rate, period, not to mention drug abuse.

  17. tommy in nyc says:

    Well ST alcohol addiction was recognized as a disease way back in 1950 by the American Medical Association. In the time since then millions and millions of alcoholics have been able to mange to rebuild their lives through the 12-steps of recovery. Drug addiction such as alcohol addiction is then same thing. Now prior to this classifaction alcoholics were tossed into santarioums because people thought they were crazy,like crazy,crazy understand. They weren’t they just suffered from an illness. Now everyone is entitled to his/her own beliefs but in the 70 years after Alcohol Anonyomous has been formed millions of people’s lives have improved as long as these individuals followed the suggestions of their program of recovery. It’s not something that has just appeared in modern American culture so some shrinks could make a buck off of it. As a person who has been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction since I’ve been a teenager I’m all too familar with this subject

  18. Well ST alcohol addiction was recognized as a disease way back in 1950 by the American Medical Association. In the time since then millions and millions of alcoholics have been able to mange to rebuild their lives through the 12-steps of recovery.

    Wait. Lemme guess – those millions of alcholics weren’t given freebies by the state, either, were they?

    As a person who has been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction since I’ve been a teenager I’m all too familar with this subject.

    You’re familiar with it up to the point where you have to take personal responsiblity for your actions, tommy, and that’s where you start blaming it on other factors, supposedly “outside” of your control. I’m sorry, but that’s not how real life works.

  19. sanity says:

    Well ST alcohol addiction was recognized as a disease way back in 1950 by the American Medical Association.

    So does that mean to solve the problem they were issuing out fifths of Jack and Jose to everyone with an addiction?

    Yes, that sounds stupid, just the same as issuing out fresh needles to do more drugs with. All that does is send a message that while we can’t get you to stop, at least you can make us feel better about ourselves if you take this fresh needle to shoot up with…ok?

    Unless the person wants help they will not be able to get sufficient help, whether they suffer from an addiction or not.

    Issuing out needles is a retarded way of trying make those doing it “feel” better about themselves, that in some way they are actually helping, but in this way, they are only encouraging the behaviour.

    It is the opposite of AA, where the don’t give you fresh clean alchool bottles to continue what your doing. Can you imagine if AA and other rehab type places gave people the items they were trying to get themselves off of? Of course they aren’t giving them the drugs – just the means to do them.

  20. tommy in nyc says:

    In a way it is kind of unusual trying to explain the positive aspects of giving away needles to heroin addicts while personally struggling with my own addiction. BTW got drunk 2 days ago which obviously I shouldn’t have done after not drinking for over 3 months and knowing all the negatives consequences alcohol has had in my life and yet it wound up happening again.Haven’t smoked however thankfully anyway what is important is that AIDS/Hepatitus and other viral diseases not only get transfered thru IV drug use i.e. sharing needles but sex as well. Personally I know somebody living with AIDS since 1991 and yes he is also a drug addict and he was clean for several years went back to using drugs and presently trying to stay clean again. The point of needle exchanges is to reduce the amount of peole who acquire these diseases like AIDS,ETC whether it is thru sex or drug use don’t you agree? Because humans have been abusing drugs,booze and sex since the stone age and that fact is not going to change in our lifetimes. So giving out free needles in SF or here in NYC isn’t going to turn me or you or anybody into an IV drug user and if free,clean needles reduces the potential amount of citizens exposed to AIDS it is a good thing IMHO.

  21. TedintheShed says:

    So giving out free needles in SF or here in NYC isn’t going to turn me or you or anybody into an IV drug user and if free,clean needles reduces the potential amount of citizens exposed to AIDS it is a good thing IMHO.

    It isn’t about “turning me into a drug addict”. As I said in an earlier post, while intention and perhaps results are noble the side effect of doing this is that it actually promotes the drug habit. It does nothing to encourage the real solution- which is individual accountability (accepting reponsibilty for one’s own actions).

    In that sense, the governement is using my tax money to promote this behaviour, and that is completely unacceptable.

  22. Lorica says:

    Unless these needle boxes are freaking armored vaults, all they will do is attract users who are out of needles. Most likely they will be made out of thin sheet steel or plastic, and have some itty biddy lock on it that can easily be cut off. The city agency that is suppose to be handing out needles probably doesn’t do it after 5pm so many of these addicts are just going to be out of luck if they get there fix after that. Lastly, I have never been part of the drug culture, I have never really been tempted, but friends of mine that were, sex usually followed the high, so to hang your argument completely on needle usage just ain’t gonna cut it. Just another senseless waste of taxpayers money. – Lorica

  23. tommy in nyc says:

    Ted if you apply that logic towards contraceptives such as condoms wouldn’t unwanted pregancies increase? Also more citizens would acquire STD’s as a result. so should the government ban giving away free contraceptives Also?

  24. TedintheShed says:

    Ted if you apply that logic towards contraceptives such as condoms wouldn’t unwanted pregancies increase?

    The way yopu apply the analogy is at fault.

    A better analogy is that free condom use would encourage more sexual intercourse.

    so should the government ban giving away free contraceptives Also?

    Definately.

    My tax dollars should not be used to promote an individual’s choice of sexual life style.

    Keep my money out of your bedroom.

  25. NC Cop says:

    Ted if you apply that logic towards contraceptives such as condoms wouldn’t unwanted pregancies increase?

    The difference being that getting pregnant isn’t illegal, where shooting up heroin is. The two are completely different subjects.

  26. tommy in nyc says:

    No NC COP the reason that free needles are given to addicts are to minimize the spread of disease. Just as condoms are given away by the government for the same reason. Also as you know you can make crystal meth from sources from other legal drugs. It should be viewed as a way to reduce disease and I don’t understand how it is seen by other folks as a bad thing trying to prevent a potential pandemic.

  27. Baklava says:

    tommy funnily wrote, “that free needles are given to addicts are to minimize the spread of disease.

    to minimize the spread of disease the druggies should stop using drugs via needles.

    tommy wrote, “I don’t understand how it is seen by other folks as a bad thing trying to prevent a potential pandemic.

    The METHOD is the bad thing – NOT “trying to prevent a potential pandemic.” CHOOSE ANOTHER METHOD of prevention tommy. GEEZ.

    It’s like drunk drivers walking away from more accidents for some reason – maybe because the sober people who get hit are all tensed up because they are more aware. But then your METHOD is give free booze to people so that they are drunk and loose also and walk away from the accidents. :((

  28. TedintheShed says:

    “I don’t understand how it is seen by other folks as a bad thing trying to prevent a potential pandemic.”

    It has already been explained to you, clearly and methodically. You are discouraging bad choices by encouraging worse choices. Or, if you look at it from your perspective, it is still an illogical approach- preventing a “pandemic” by encouraging an even worse “pandemic”:

    To “prevent a potential pandemic” (STD’s) you are encouraging an even worse “pandemic”- drug use (by your own definition, since drug use is a disease also).

    That is an illogical approach- preventing a pandemic by encouraging an even worse pandemic.

  29. Baklava says:

    Wow you said it better TIS ! :)>-

  30. tommy in nyc says:

    unsurpassed madness. Who would start using heroin just for the fact that they can receive clean needles? Who in their right mind would start behaving in such a way? The purpose of giving away free needles is the hope that the lucky heroin addicts who haven’t gotten AIDS/viral diseases don’t get AIDS/other viral diseases from sharing needles with other addicts that may have before mentioned diseases. Which is exactly the reason why I mentioned STD’s. TIS said it best when he said the government shouldn’t hand out free condoms. Well the way the real world works is that people are going to have sex,abuse drugs and alcohol and behave irresponsibly. As a taxpayer wouldn’t you conclude since it is impossible to regulate personal behaviour it would be in all taxpayers interest to say hey if folks choose to live irreaponsibly and we can’t just throw people in jail for living their lives that way so wouldn’t it be a good idea to reduce the spread of disease by giving away free needles and condoms. Staying celibate and just saying no to drugs are just slogans not solutions. Just look at the statistics.

  31. Lorica says:

    Tommy, as a private person handing out needles to addicts wouldn’t you then be involved in the crime of aiding and abetting a criminal activity?? Why should my taxes go to help criminals in the process of their crimes?? I am sorry, but I see nothing compassionate about helping a person stay in the prison of their addiction. Now if you want to talk about addiction programs and jobs programs for these folks, I am all for that. Get them cleaned up, and trained, maybe then they can be an upstanding citizen. Keeping them in the slavery of their addiction, is not helping them in any way. You are flat our wrong, and as a person who has a propensity towards addictions you should know that. – Lorica

  32. sanity says:

    What gets me is that no one really thinks along the lines of a hard-core addict.

    Do you think they give one rats ass whether they have a clean needle or not?

    Looking for that next hit some will sell their bodies, sell their positions, rob stores, do whatever it takes to get that next ‘fix’, so worrying about a clean needle is not something I think they are going to give a crap about.

    This is nothing more than a ‘feel good’ policy put in place not to help the ‘junkies’, the addicts, ect with keeping the spread of disease down, (this is delusional thinking considering how they will act to get their next fix) but a way of not dealing with the probelm at hand, a simple glossing over of the problem, we tried – we gave you clean needles. Not only does this show a lack of understanding of the drug users, but shows the lack of morality in helping them with thier addictions by giving them the means to do more drugs or at least an easier means. This is nothing more than something to make people feel good, that they are in some way ‘trying’ to help the addicts, junkies, ect with their problems….trouble is it does not hing to help them with their problems at all, you just give them a fresh needle o stick in thier arms.

    By the way – to return to the word Junkie for a moment, take a look at this definition:

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    The most common term of the word junkie (or junky) is to describe a drug addict. Also, people enthusiastic about any specific thing sometimes call themselves junkies (as in the term “science fiction junkie” or “political junkie”).

    or

    ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms

    Noun 1. junkie – a narcotics addict drug addict, junky

    addict – someone who is physiologically dependent on a substance; abrupt deprivation of the substance produces withdrawal symptoms

    cocaine addict – a person addicted to cocaine
    binger, crack addict – someone addicted to crack cocaine

    heroin addict – someone addicted to heroin

    opium addict, opium taker – someone addicted to opium
    withdrawer – a drug addict who is discontinuing the use of narcotics

    Link

  33. TedintheShed says:

    Who would start using heroin just for the fact that they can receive clean needles? Who in their right mind would start behaving in such a way?

    I don’t believe I said that- care to quote where I did?

    TIS said it best when he said the government shouldn’t hand out free condoms. Well the way the real world works is that people are going to have sex,abuse drugs and alcohol and behave irresponsibly.

    “Behave irresponsibly”?

    You just contradicted yourself. “Behave irresponsibly” carries the implication of choice.

    As a taxpayer wouldn’t you conclude since it is impossible to regulate personal behaviour it would be in all taxpayers interest to say hey if folks choose to live irreaponsibly and we can’t just throw people in jail for living their lives that way so wouldn’t it be a good idea to reduce the spread of disease by giving away free needles and condoms.

    No, that isn’t my conclusion.

    What folks choose to do isn’t relevant, and neither is the fact that we can regulate it, prevent it or stop it entirely.

    As I taxpayer, I do not want to make the issue worse or promote said irresponsible behaviour. The problem here is the choice to do the drug. Handing out clean needles, no matter what side benefits it may have, not only promotes the behavior but condones it. It only worsens the problem, and does nothing to better it.

    It is like saying pedophilia is a personal behavior we can not regulate. So, once we locate a pedophile we should give out child sized blow up sex dolls to make his/her behavior “better”.

    You aren’t addressing the problem- you are making patchwork non-solutions that makes the problem worse, and condones it.

  34. NC Cop says:

    unsurpassed madness.

    Hardly, tommy. The only thing maddening is people who seem to think the government exists to solve your every problem, regardless of how you got into these problems. Handing out needles to addicts makes no more sense than handing out bulletproof vests to gang members. It’s not a solution, it’s a fantasy.

  35. Baklava says:

    Mary Katharine Ham has a Fox News video about “Needle Park” in San Fran. Shows what a idiocy the program is with old needles being littered everywhere.

    Trying to solve one problem by creating a couple more. Great.